Hmmm Almond & Mango butter!

Soooo so delicious!
So on my mission to find amazing natural remedies for dry skin and eczema I came across these 2 butters, which I have chosen to combine into one product.
Almond_mango_Garden2

Both butters are cold-pressed ensuring they still full of their natural nutrients and antioxidants. They can help protect the skin from the weather and UV radiation.

A great benefit is that they are both these butters are hypo-allergenic. They are great for dry skin and dry eczema because they are rich in natural fatty acids, minerals and vitamins that the skin needs for optimum health, acting as a very hydrating emollient treatment.

This can be used as a body butter, for dry skin on hands and feet. Because it is lighter than shea or cocoa butter is  is a great skin balm for the lips, face and neck as well.

You can also be used for massage instead of an oil, essential oils can be mixed in to create your own blend.

Dry Skin Fix

Dry_skin_fix_TIN

And finally… I have now managed to add the 100% natural cream for eczema and very dry skin to my online shop. I have been selling this for a year or so having created it for my son. It really worked on his dry skin and I started giving out samples to other local mums with babies and children who had the same skin problems. I received great feedback and so started making it in bigger batches. Now its one of my best sellers, here are a few of the features and you can click on the image to buy it.

  • I am a deeply moisturising cream fro very dry skin
  • Especially designed to help babies and children with eczema.
  • Use me as a natural alternative to paraffin based cream and Aqueous cream
  • With regular use I can help keep dry eczema under control.
  • With organic oils of Shea butter, Sweet Almond & Avocado,
  • Rich in fatty acids that are proven to help dry skin to heal

Babies, kids and eczema help

My son suffered with extreme eczema from birth to about 3yrs. I myself suffer with occasional eczema, and have naturally dry, sensitive skin. Luckily my son now (at 4.5yrs) has happy healthy skin, with just the occasional eczema flare-up I attribute this to a few regular habits such as improved diet and daily massage with a skin oil.
Below I have put together some tips that could help you that have worked really well for us…

Dylan and Gramps

Creams & Massage:
I personally use my soothe-me Super Baby Oil massaged into his legs and arms daily (the actual massage helps his immune system and to improve skin quality), for the really dry patches I use my Dry skin fix. For older children and adults with mild eczema on the face I recommend the Happy Skin Cream, that has beautiful Lavender and Chamomile in.
Massage! Easy to over look this but massage helps the body eliminate toxins. This in return will help the skin to function better, eczema could be the body struggling to rid itself of toxins. So regular massage helps to encourage the lymphatic system to work. It also encourages the fibroblast cells to work, they help with the production of collagen. Therefore boosting skin health and strength. Exfoliation is also a benefit that comes from massage, sloughing off dead skincells, helping reveal new skin.

Green People and Organic Babies are great too, Aveeno cream has been recommended to me by other mums although it is not actually natural, it has some ingredients that I found may irritate,  I did not find it to work for my son. Do try to avoid using creams with petroleum, mineral oils, Methylisothiazolinone (MI), Oxybenzone, Parabens, Sodium lauryl sulfates and paraffin  in as they can irritate skin further, by their nature they just sit on the skin, blocking its natural function, preventing elimination of toxins though the skin.

Bathing:
I chose to not use any washing detergents or baby baths until my baby was over 3 months but its up to you. You can try those laundry balls. Then when I did i made sure they were SLS, Paraben and Pertrochemical free. Earth friendly Baby and Green People are good.
DEAD SEA SALT/NATURAL SEA SALT  –  Adding this to the bath water on its own or with 2 drops of Lavender Essential oil (babies over 6 months) can be very healing and soothing.
For adults and larger kids (over 10yrs)  you can make body scrubs by mixing Grapeseed oil with sea salt or gently rub dampened handfulls or salt over the skin.
Try adding a organic oil to the bath and using it to massage the skin after a bath. Try Safflower (Thistle oil), Sunflower or Sweet Almond. For babies over 3 months you could add Essential oils of Chamomile and Lavender (2 drops Lav 1 drop Cham to 30ml of oil – double this for adults).

Clothes Washing Powders:
Things that really help us both are using a gentle washing up liquid and washing powder like ECOVER and you can try double rinsing washing. Watch out for sudden skin rashes that may occur when you change powders, and try changing. I have heard DREFT is good too but have not used it myself.

Steroids is there ever a place for them?
Generally I try to avoid these as they can push the problem back into the body. But dont rule them out as they can be useful if you have a severe or prolonged outbreak, they can help get it back under control. Then go back to the natural methods (EFCORTELAN is designed for the face so is more gentle).

Hydration & Diet:
It is vital to ensure the sufferer is getting enough fluids, warm water is good (although quite boring!), you can add some freshly squeezed Lemon, pear juice and apple are better than orange. I suggest avoiding to much milk* and dairy also refined sugars, tomato based foods could be irritating. Alkaline foods are recommended, if you can try to have 70% alkaline to 30% acid foods each day. (Not that easy tho as I love chocolate!). * My son is on Pepti Cow and Gate perscription milk that has the dairy proteins broken down, it helps his skin and helped his reflux when he was younger.

Probiotics & Gut Health:
Gut health has been linked with Eczema and other atopic diseases, so it could help to give your child some probiotics and to take them if you are breastfeeding.  I have posted on this before read here. (Further reading here by expert Leonard Smith MD)

Homeopathy:
Most definitely worth a try! You also need to stick with it.

Herbs:
Milk thistle complex is thought to help the liver (NOT FOR BABIES THO!), and good Probiotix can help the gut become more healthy and therefore leads to healthy skin.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
I AM NOT A DOCTOR THESE ARE JUST TIPS THAT WORKED FOR ME. Please visit your medical practitioner for medical advice.

More advice from ‘There must be a better way’

Pro-biotic drops for babies & children

Through my baby massage classes I have been hearing a lot about Pro-biotics for babies. About how they can help ease colic and could help reflux AND eczema (by improving gut health). I wish I had know about these when my son was a baby as he was hospitalised with his reflux, it was a nightmare. There is not nearly enough support for parents who have to cope with this.

So these are recommended brands solarays, babylife and biogaia, http://www.colichelp.com/shop/biogaia-probiotic-drops.html, I will soon be getting some to try on my 3 yr old son to see if it helps his eczema.

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Read more on this useful link here on mumsnet http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/570913-can-a-10-week-old-baby-have-probiotics/AllOnOnePage 

Super baby oil – may help eczema & psoriasis too…

Our ‘Super Baby Oil’ has had great feedback from mums and now from a Dad!

Christian told me initially he was worried that he would be unable to massage his daughter incase oil used irritated his skin. Then when Cathrin, his partner, bought some of our ‘Super Baby Oil’ during a baby massage class he started using it to massage his baby daughter at home.
Christian said he noticed that the psoriasis on his hands was actually improving rather than becoming more irritated. He is now able to bond with his baby daughter during massage time and to know his hands are actually getting a healing treatment. Winners on all accounts!

Aqueous cream ‘aggravates eczema’ BBC

Read this report from the BBC.

(Its something I knew already but its nice to have it proven!)

“Cream often prescribed to relieve the symptoms of eczema may be making the condition worse, researchers claim. Scientists at Bath University found that aqueous cream thinned the skin after a few weeks of use. This, they say, is because it contains a detergent rather than just moisturisers. Another expert said most GPs seemed unaware of official advice not to prescribe the cream as a moisturiser.

Eczema, which affects millions of adults in the UK, happens when the skin gets dry and cracked. One way to reduce the discomfort and keep it under control is to use moisturising creams.

Aqueous cream, sold at every pharmacy, is an emollient cream, and is officially recommended as an alternative to soap when washing.

However, it is also frequently recommended by doctors for its moisturising properties – one recent poll suggested nine out of 10 GPs recommended it for childhood eczema.

The University of Bath study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology looked directly at its effects on the skin when used regularly.

Volunteers, none of whom had eczema, rubbed it into their forearms every day over a four-week period.

Scientists then compared skin samples taken before and after.

They found the thickness of the stratum corneum, the outermost skin layer, was reduced by about 10% in this time.

Professor Richard Guy supervised the research, conducted as part of a PhD course by researcher Manda Tsang. He said the sodium lauryl sulphate detergent in the cream was affecting a thin layer of fats lying on top of the skin.

He said: “Our study has found that rubbing aqueous cream containing sodium lauryl sulphate into the skin thins this protective barrier, making the skin more susceptible to irritation by chemicals.

“So to use this cream on eczematous skin, which is already thin and vulnerable to irritation, is likely to make the condition even worse.”

‘Heavy duty’

The National Eczema Society recommends alternatives such as white soft paraffin or even other types of emollient without such a high sodium laurel sulphate content.

Margaret Cox, chief executive of the National Eczema Society, said: “Aqueous cream contains sodium lauryl sulphate, which is a fairly heavy duty detergent. Sadly it is widely used – one it’s cheap and two, it’s prescribing habit.”

Professor Michael Cork, an academic dermatologist from the University of Sheffield, said despite advice from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence in England and Wales not to prescribe or recommend aqueous cream in this way, it was still widespread practice.

He recommended that people with eczema use a formulation without the detergent instead.

“This layer of skin will grow back over time, but if you’re using aqueous cream on it every day, it simply won’t get the chance.”

Link to report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11564662

Organic Castor Oil – for very dry skin

A big-up for organic castor oil (Ricinus Communis) from the castor bean. If you have very dry skin or need an oil to help soften and soothe dry eczema, this is a great oil. I buy this beautiful one from Shea Butter Cottage, it comes from India. (click image to buy it)

Benefits of castor oil are its antioxident and anti-inflamatory properties, It is highly antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal too. Great for those who work a lot with their hands, gardeners, kitchen workers etc. When used on dry and very dry skin is its thickness and viscosity, make it a good barrier,  But with nutritional benefits for the skin, unlike petroleum or paraffin based products which are just and only a barrier.  Especially suitable now in as the weather gets colder and skin can get very dry. Although do only buy a good quality organic one to ensure its properties are still intact and of high standard.

Suggested very dry skin blend (can also help Eczema):
Makes 100ml

Try to by cold pressed oils, they dont have to be organic.

40ml Sesame oil (organic NOT TOASTED!!)
25ml Shea butter oil
20ml Castor oil
15ml Avocado oil
5ml Vitamin E (natural)

For very dry skin you could add 6 drops of Benzoin and 6 drops of Lemmon
If you are using it to soothe dry itchy eczema add 4 drops of Peppermint oil and 4 drops of Patchouli oil to 150ml of base oil.
(I used this blend on my young 2yr old son when he has a flare up, its very soothing and he asks me for it when he wants it)

NEW RECIPE UPDATE 30th July 2013:  For children under 7 try this essential oil blend in 100ml of the above base oil blend: 3 drops lavender, 2 Patchouli, 2 tea tree, 1 Roman Chamomile, 1 Eucalyptus.

IMPORTANT NOTE!!! ALWAYS PATCH TEST FOR 24hrs BEFORE USE. NOT SUITABLE DURING PREGNANCY. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT SUGGESTED AS A CURE OR A MEDICAL TREATMENT I AM NOT A DOCTOR, PLEASE ALWAYS GET MEDICAL ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT FIRST.

UPDATE July 2913: If you or your child is having a bad flare up never introduce a new natural product you may cause further reaction. In this case you will find it best to get the flare up under control with steroids. Then once skin is just dry and not broken and inflamed try a natural option in small patch test for 2 days.  In my experience there is sometime a small flare up from the natural remedy that may be referred to as a ‘healing crisis’ this should then subside. If this carries on past 24hrs I would wait until the child is older to try the remedy. If you are an adult you maybe able to tell from the type of itching if it is a ‘healing’ itch (more tingly and less aggressive) than the usual eczema itch. Always introduce a new product slowly to a small patch of skin.

More interesting facts about castor oil on these sites
http://www.bukisa.com/articles/74566_awesome-benefits-of-castor-oil#ixzz13VBLvIso.
http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-castor-oil-5250.html
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-castor-seed-oil.html

Other oils and eczema healing
http://menscookeryclub.com/2007/03/16/sesame-oil-and-eczema/